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A gripping, eye-opening about the Vietnam War by a writer who served there

Shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize

‘The best Vietnam novel ever, which everyone should read’ Alan Silitoe, Independent on Sunday

‘One of my favourite books of the year’ Time Out

There’s no getting away from the book’s raw power – highly recommended’ Mail on Sunday

Wilson’s tale, addressing the suffering of the Vietnamese, has integrity and evocative details . . . a worthwhile addition to the war novel’ Metro

What happens when a bunch of murderous gringos are let loose on a third-world country?

The country is Vietnam and the war has escalated into a technological bloodbath. Lyndon Johnson is in the White House and each night on the network news programmes Americans watch their soldiers returning in their thousands in plastic body bags.

In Vietnam, Lieutenant Lopez, a twenty-three-year-old American of Mexican origin, has volunteered for a tour of duty to escape not the cocoon of privilege his adoptive parents have wrapped him in but a personal tragedy in which he is implicated. Lopez has been assigned to a remote border camp defended by a US Special Forces team and by Vietnamese irregulars. At first he regards the war as a personal penance, but is gradually forced out of his self-pity